Clean-Up in Aisle 54

Last week we ventured to the mega ginormous Menards in our area to buy a whole bunch of house stuff. I figured we’d only be gone an hour or so, so I decided to forego the diaper bag (Mistake #1), and didn’t even throw a diaper in my giant purse (Mistake #2).

Riley was happily riding in the cart while we bought such random house stuff as a fruit picker for our pear tree, a new hose and a lawnmower. While we were pondering which doorbell we wanted to buy, and listening to the random, goofy dings and dongs of several of them, we heard the distinct sound of liquid pouring onto linoleum.

We look over to see Riley’s (disposable) diaper leaking his pee down his leg, over his shoe and onto Menard’s floor. A steady stream of urine. A river.

Derek and I stood in stunned silence for a minute, willing our brains to compute what was happening, so we’d spring into some genius, super-parent reaction. You know, turning back time to prevent this from happening in the first place or something similar that perfect parents automatically know how to do.

However, it was our 16-month old who summed up the event best.

“Uh oh,” he said while peering over the handles of the cart at his puddle.

Yes, buddy, uh oh, indeed.

I then muttered the phrase that is possibly the most terrifying in all of parenthood:

“Derek, I didn’t bring a diaper.”

He looked at me wide-eyed. I could see he was walking the thin line between saying something stupid and making me feel bad versus trying to figure out a solution to show that this really wasn’t that bad of a catastrophe.

“Does Menard’s sell diapers?” he asked. Um…probably not, dear. Where would they sell them? By the PVC piping? In the lumberyard? He made a feeble attempt to go look by the detergent, while Riley kept peering from the cart seat, repeating, Rainman-like, “Uh oh.” Needless to say, Derek came back empty-handed.

We devised a plan. It started, obviously, with running like hell. Fleeing the scene. Pretending everything was fine. We hurried to the exit. The plan was that I’d take Riley to the car while Derek quickly checked out.

When I dismounted Riley from the cart and put him on my hip, I immediately felt the pee seeping through my shirt and onto my skin. Ah, motherhood. Honestly, this is one of the least gross things I’ve had to deal with in the past year.

We walked to the car and I put his soggy butt into his car seat, and we waited for Daddy. Crisis averted. To whomever had to clean up the puddle in aisle 54, take Riley’s “uh oh” as an apology.


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